9ct White Gold vs. Sterling Silver: Understanding the Difference

model wearing tennis jewellery

When it comes to buying jewellery, the choice of materials and finish available to us is phenomenal. There is everything from 9ct yellow gold and white gold to gold plated and sterling silver. As well as these, there is a vast variety of fast fashion jewellery out there that, although it looks great when first bought, after a wear or two it begins to tarnish and lose its sparkle. The decision of your jewellery material is a crucial process and when you are investing some money into high quality pieces, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the pros, cons, and differences between all your options. To learn the facts on the differences between 9ct gold and gold-plated jewellery, check out our blog here. However, today, we are here to reveal the core differences between 9ct white gold and sterling silver. While these two materials can appear very similar to the naked eye, there are some prominent differences to know before buying.

9ct White Gold

White gold is an alloy of gold. It does not exist naturally, and it is yellow gold that has been mixed with other metals such as nickel or zinc which gives it its platinum appearance. 9ct white gold is an alloy composed of 37.5% pure gold. White gold jewellery is highly regarded for its durability and resistance to tarnishing. It can withstand the rigors of daily wear, making it suitable for long-term use.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver, on the other hand, is a pure metal consisting of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. It is typically alloyed with copper to add strength. When shopping for sterling silver, it is important that there is a 0.925 label. This ensures your jewellery is an authentic and pure. Silver jewellery has been cherished for centuries, thanks to its versatility and timeless appeal.


One of the main differences between the two metals is the pricing. Gold is considered more valuable than silver but the cost of both may fluctuate with market prices. 9ct white gold jewellery tends to be more expensive than sterling silver due to the gold content in the alloy. Sterling silver, on the other hand, is a more affordable and reasonably priced. It is an excellent option for those seeking stylish yet budget-friendly pieces.

It's important to note that just because white gold is mixed with other metals, it does not lose value in any way. The piece is measured by how much real gold is in the alloy and the gold will remain just as valuable as if it were yellow.

Overall, white gold tends to hold its value well over time compared to silver. Thus, making it a desirable investment.

Durability and Maintenance

Sterling silver is less durable than white gold. The alloy composition of white gold provides it with added strength and resistance to wear and tear. This is one of the main reasons why people opt for this material for their everyday pieces such as wedding rings. As sterling silver is a softer metal, it is more prone to scratching and damage. However, here at NJO, we plate all our silver jewellery in rhodium. This makes it stronger, brighter, and more durable. However, it's important to note that white gold and silver which has been rhodium plated may need it redone from time-to-time to maintain its colour and strength.

With proper care and maintenance, silver jewellery can retain its shine for many years. Regular cleaning, storing in anti-tarnish pouches, and avoiding contact with harsh chemicals are key to preserving the beauty of sterling silver pieces. As with any jewellery, the right care is required to keep its longevity.


At NJO, we have a variety of styles in both our 9ct white gold and sterling silver collections. We have everything from a range of white gold and sterling silver, earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets. Our dazzling white gold and silver tennis bracelets and necklaces are the perfect amount of sparkle and elegance for any occasion. As well as this, our sterling silver hoops and huggies make a great addition to any look. No matter what the material, the stunning bright glow of both white gold and sterling silver jewellery is a guaranteed show stopping look that can take you from day to night.

silver necklace and silver ring on model

Overall, when shopping for jewellery, the choice between white gold and sterling silver ultimately boils down to personal preference, budget, and desired aesthetic. While 9ct white gold offers durability and a luxurious appeal, sterling silver provides a more affordable and versatile option. Whether you opt for the timeless radiance of white gold or the classic allure of silver, both materials have the power to enhance your style and make you feel your most confident self.